West Yorkshire Mountain Biking - Vertebrate Publishing
I’ve a neat little collection of these pocket sized guides on my shelf now. On a post card inserted inside the front cover Vertebrate Publishing claim to publish Britain’s best mountain bike guidebooks and I think they are probably right. I’ve seen snazzier books, but this is a format that genuinely works and they seem to be sticking to their formula: pocket sized, inspiring photos, great cover shots, decent quality maps, good route descriptions with accompanying maps and notes on shops and pubs en route, with the essential info bits at the start. They are producing a few books each year and now boast the range:
Clearly there is a concentration around the centre of the country. One could argue that this is where some of the best biking is, but it’s probably as much to do with the fact that their offices are based in Sheffield.
If I was to be critical of the book I would have preferred some bolder colours for the numbered squares on the initial orientation map indicating where each route that is covered in the book is located. The muted greys and greens blend in a bit too well with the background map making then difficult to spot. It’s no biggie though.
I love the little summary box that accompanies each route, displaying the distance, ascent, time, profile, and a host of other useful bits of information. I wonder whether it might be nice to have these on a single double page spread at the back of the book as a quick reference point to decide on the type of route you fancy for the day?
Retails at £14.95 and provides excellent value for money – 23 routes, that’s 65pence a route!